I'm not talking about your extensive knowledge of science, or the latest seminar on cutting-edge treatment you attended, but your ability to connect and communicate to patients in your practice. Communication needs to happen in a way that works for each and every patient.
No physician can have a 100% connection rate with patients. No human is perfect, and we all have "off" days. You may not read a situation correctly. Additionally, we are all different and that is wonderful. It's why no one can truly compete with either you or me, because we all have a uniqueness that can never be duplicated. There is room for many to provided a variety of service styles, resulting in even higher levels community health!
Think back to a case where there may have been a miscommunication with a patient who opted not to undertake treatment or didn't return after their initial visit. Think about what went wrong...
- a lack up understanding of why the patient came to the office
- a misunderstanding about the treatment plan and how to execute it
- a differential in the practitioner - patient commitment levels
- a differential in practitioner - patient expectations and timelines of outcomes
- an inability of the practitioner to communicate knowledge at an appropriate level or instil confidence.
Is your problem communication skills, interpersonal skills, personal confidence, all of these will result in suboptimal communication with patients. Suboptimal communication then results in patients not getting as much benefit as they could if there was more understanding. So just like we do everyday in clinic, you need to "Treat the Cause" and dig deep for where your skills can be improved by personal growth.
You have a lot to do. Run the business, employ staff, be the doctor, and be ready to meet patients at the level of understanding they are at. You cannot expect all patients to be "easy" to communicate with, even if they have willing come to your office. Ultimately, the responsibility lies with the physician to deliver the message. Remember: You are the professional, and there is a reason we call it "practice"